Courtney's Birth Story
This is the story of the birth of my first baby. I guess I should go back to the very beginning when I first found out that I was pregnant. I am a career firefighter and one day while I was on shift, we had a structure fire. When we were finished with our work, and while I was taking off my bunker gear, I began to feel very nauseous. I sat down on the tailboard of the engine and told myself that something didn’t feel right, because this doesn’t happen to me. I felt I was pregnant at that time because the day earlier, I barely tested postive on a home pregnancy test. The next morning when our shift was over, I called my husband and told him that I was going to see my doctor to see if indeed I was actually pregnant. Sureenough when I took a pregnancy test at my doctors office it was positive.
An overwhelming feeling of emotion came over me as I left the office that morning and headed to the first payphone I could find. I called my husband at work, I told him 2 words, “I am!”. He couldn’t believe it. He was just as excited as me and we decided to tell everyone right away. Crying and talking the same time, I called my parents, sister, brothers and friends to tell them the good news. Everyone couldn’t have been happier for us. My due date was May 20,1997.
For the first 3 months everything was right on schedule. Morning sickness lasted all day long and I wondered if it would ever end. Eventually it subsided and it wasn’t about till the fifth month that I started to show, but everything was going well. It seemed after that, that it became a textbook pregnancy, until the morning of April 5, 1997. It was a Saturday and I was doing a little housecleaning because it was that day that the border we chose was going to be hung in the baby’s room, and we were expecting company. As I was cleaning I started to not “feel so well” and I had an ache in my back. By that afternoon, I was doubled over and couldn’t get myself in a comfortable position. My husband called the doctor and she said “Your either in labor or your having a UTI”. By early evening the pain was so incredible, the doctor said to go to the ER and she would meet us there. They brought me up to Labor and Delivery to rule out labor.
They immediatley gave me large doses of Morphine to help the pain but I was still climbing the walls. After a series of low radiation x-rays and an IVP that they diagnosed a kidney stone with a 100% blockage of my right kidney. They immediately brought me into surgery to install a bypass stent till the kidney stone passed. What made the pain so bad was that the baby was lying right on it. The only thing that ceased the pain was the epidural that was given to me just prior to the surgery. I was flushed with fluids for the next couple of days. When I was released I was still in an incredible amount of pain. The day was April 7, 1997. I returned to work a week later, still in pain, to a desk job for what I thought would be my last 6 weeks of work. Unfortunately, at the end of April, on one of my last prenatel visits, I was in so much pain still, (even walking was a job in itself), that my doctor told me the words I had longed to hear, “Let’s induce”. I was registered and scheduled to deliver on May 2, 1997.
It was May 1, and I was due at the hospital at 5pm. My husband was every pregnant woman’s dream. He made sure every detail was taken care of so I had not a worry in the world. He would ask me every hour on the hour if I was getting nervous, and I really wasn’t, (I don’t think), until we pulled into the parking lot at the Birthplace at St. Mary’s Hospital. Then it kicked in, (and so did the baby, I guess she wanted us to know that she too was getting anxious). The nurses knew who I was and had a room already prepared for us. I was instructed to put on a gown and we filled out allthe paperwork. An IV was establised by my husband actually, after failing attempts by the nurses. ( I should comment that my husband too is a paramedic and has had plenty of experience with IV’s.) I was immedediately put on a monitor and at 7pm my doctor came in and put in some gel that would help thin my cervix. I couldn’t get out of bed for 5 hours. (Sometimes this gel puts you into labor, so I had to be monitored). I had a few contractions, but sporadically. Then at midnight I was told I could get up and walk around and even eat something if I was hungry. I was starved. My husband and I walked upstairs, ever so slowly, to the all-night cafe and I had 1/2 of a turkey sandwich and some hot chocolate. We went back down to the room. Watched some TV, while the nurse periodically came into check on the baby. I was given a sleeping pill to help me sleep, knowing that I had a big day coming up. My husband fell asleep first on his bed, but we were both woken at 6am and told we could take a shower. At 7am my doctor came and broke my water and at the same time started a Pitocin drip to start my contractions. The contractions started right away at 2 minutes apart. But I hadn’t dialated yet. The pain increased almost immediatley to almost umbareable. I was given Stadol around 9am which did nothing for the pain, but made me very sleepy. By 10am, I had’nt dialated at all. I was in so much pain, that my doctor ordered the first of 3 epidurals. The first epidural I had, was a walking epidural but when I moved the catheter slipped, so I was given the second. It definately helped but I still had’nt dialated. They needed me to relax. By noon, that epidural had failed as well, and they were giving me narcotics through that IV, but nothing worked. The anesthesiologist was ordered back, to start the third epidural. That one finally took, I was 6cm and was very sleepy from the epidural and all the narcotics, I finally fell asleep. I woke up at 2pm with contractions in my lower right side. I was also a full 10 cm dialated. I didn’t push right away,because my doctor said if I can bear the pain a little longer they would wait till the baby slid down a little further so I would only need to push a few times. What I didn’t know it that the epidural that I had, had wore off at the lower part of my abdomen and in about 2 minutes my contractions hurt so bad I almost went through the roof. My doctor asked me if I wanted to start pushing. At that moment, when I heard that, I realized that the time was now, I was going to finally see the little girl, that I was told I was going to have so many months ago. I wanted to push so hard to get her out, but 50 minutes of pushing had gone by. I was getting tired and irritated and upset because I wanted her out NOW! Finally, my doctor applied suction to the baby’s head and with a few more pushes, my mom, who was in the room with me through the whole time, finally said, “The head is out, the head is out”. Through all the commotion in the room, her voice isthe one that stands out because I believed her and she began to cry when she said it. My doctor said don’t push, the cord is around her neck. My husband had swelling tears in his eyes as he bent over and kissed me. He also said, “She’s got lot’s of hair”. Then the doctor said okay, one more time. I gave it all I had and felt this little baby slide right out. After a couple of seconds, when I heard the baby cry for the first time, Icouldn’t hold back the tears anymore. I cried and cried and begged to see my little girl. My husband and mother both said she was perfect and all I could think about at that time, was seeing her. My doctor said she was beautiful and after what seemed a lifetime of waiting, the nurse handed the little newborn to my husband and my husband brought her over to me. I can’t tell you what I felt like when I first saw her wide open eyes looking up at me. She was probably wondering why I was crying. She was a little miracle and I could’nt believe God gave us such a beautiful baby. My whole labor, from beginning to end, was only 8 1/2 hours. I pushed for only 1 hour. She was born at 3:35pm weighing in a 6 lbs 13 oz and 21 1/2″ long.
I can tell you only this out of my whole birthing experience. Whatever pain I endured along the way from the morning sickness, to my kidney stone, to the induced labor, it disappeared and seemed to have never happened whenI looked into the eyes of my daughter for the first time. I will never forget what that meant to me.
Thankyou for reading this, and thankyou to my husband Keith, who was the best husband and coach anyone could have ever had, without him, I couldn’t have done it!
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